Parents: are you considering a move to Los Angeles, California? You’ve probably done your research on the City of Angels if so. You know the city is home to people from 140 countries speaking 224+ languages, making it a cultural melting pot. 

The city, which is loved for its diversity, is also admired by people all around the globe for its beautiful terrain. You can find everything from mountains to the ocean, making the city as close to perfect as it gets–especially if you enjoy doing things outdoors with your kiddos.

Now, we get why you’d want to relocate to L.A. If you have kids, it’s not a hard sell considering the endless amount of things to do, the scenery, the diversity, and so on. (You see where we’re going with this.)

So, how about the schools? What are the best schools in Los Angeles, and how do you siphon through all of the schools in Metro L.A.? Let’s talk about it!

los angeles neighborhoods

How do you find the best schools in Los Angeles?

The Greater Los Angeles area includes five counties: Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, and Ventura County. As you can imagine, this comes with a massive amount of schools. The city of Los Angeles, which is located in Los Angeles County, has 1,803 schools just by itself. 

Now, when it comes to schools, there are many things to think about. We recommend figuring out the answers to these questions as you search for the best schools in Los Angeles to make sure you’ll be happy with where you end up sending your kids: 

  • Would a public or private school be better for your child?
  • What is the high-school graduation rate?
  • What is the proficiency level for math and reading?
  • What are the schools’ overall ratings? 

Keep reading to find out more about public schools in L.A. 

How are public schools in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles public schools are above average in many areas, from teachers to classes and college prep. Students have the option to take honors and advanced placement (AP) classes at many schools, helping make their transcripts look even better as they apply to colleges in their high school years. 

As of the most recent school year, the average high-school graduation rate in the state of California is 85%. The graduation rate in Los Angeles depends on the school district. For instance, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s graduation rate is 80%. Of course, there are many schools with above-average graduation rates (e.g., Amador Valley High School and Bonita High School, which come in at above 99%). 

The math proficiency in the Los Angeles Unified School District is 29%, and the reading proficiency is 54%, which is in the upper half of Los Angeles public schools. 

While the graduation rate in this district is below the state average, the math and reading proficiency levels are actually comparable. Approximately 49% of students are reading proficient in California, and 34% are proficient in math in California public schools as a whole. 

All in all, you can find many incredible schools in Los Angeles, with many of the best options in the suburbs. To figure out which school is right for your kids, it’s not a bad idea to look into different suburbs and see which part of the city piques your interest and has the amenities you want. Then, take a look at the graduation rate, reading and math proficiency levels, sports programs, classes, and extracurricular activities at the schools in the area. That will give you a great idea about which schools will work out for your kids. 

Top-rated public schools in Los Angeles

Here are some of L.A.’s best public schools: 

Best Elementary Schools in Los Angeles, California:

Best Middle Schools in Los Angeles, California:

Best High Schools in Los Angeles, California:

What private schools are in Los Angeles?

Some of the top private high schools in Los Angeles include: 

Of course, that’s not all your options for private schools in L.A. Here are some more of the best private schools in Los Angeles, which have high ratings and come with great opportunities for kids of all ages:

What are suburban L.A. schools like?

The Los Angeles suburbs extend 20 miles from the city or more. They often have their own school districts, giving you even more options for potential schools. All in all, the L.A. suburbs have top-rated schools with low student-to-teacher ratios, AP classes, honors classes, an abundance of sports and other extracurriculars, and support to help kids get ready for college. 

The thing to remember, though, is that not all suburbs are the same. Most suburbs of Los Angeles are rated well for schools, but the key to finding the right suburb for your kids to go to school in is to research first about what programs they have that your kids would enjoy (plus whether you could see yourself living there). Narrowing down the suburb before committing to a house is just efficient if you have kids. 

Artesia is a Los Angeles suburb that has top-rated schools. One person who lives there says, “Artesia is a family-friendly and diverse community, where your introduced by numerous but familiar faces. Once you step foot, you are introduced by a variety of cultures from Filipino to Indian. There are no limitations to snacking because Artesia has it all.” 

They go on to say, “I’ve grown up in Artesia all of my life, so I know the ins and outs of what goes on around here, and I can guarantee I have never felt more safe than my stay at Artesia. The school distract is open to all families and provides great education to our youth. I am proud to be part of this community!”

What suburbs have particularly good school systems?

Considering the sheer size of Los Angeles, you can imagine the number of schools there are in the suburbs. Some of the best suburbs for schools in L.A. are La Cañada Flintridge, Palos Verdes Estates, South Pasadena, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Marino. So, let’s chat about them!

First up is La Cañada Flintridge. It’s been rated the top suburb to raise kids in the entire state of California. It’s safe and has great public schools, as well as a variety of activities for families. Some popular things to do in this city of 20,613 people are visiting the Mayors’ Discovery Park, checking out the Kidspace Children’s Museum, or going to Descanso Gardens. The city doesn’t have a ton of nightlife, but it has quite a few outdoor and family-friendly activities. 

The next suburb on our list is Palos Verdes Estates, which is the oldest city on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This city is about as beautiful as it gets, situated right on the coast with stunning views of the ocean. Roughly 13,403 people call this city home. It has impressive schools, and while it doesn’t have a ton of amenities aside from shopping, it offers an exclusive lifestyle for families who get the chance to live there. 

South Pasadena is another one of L.A.’s best suburbs if you have kids. About 26,837 people live there, enjoying the A-rated schools. Of South Pasadena, one resident says, “South Pasadena is a diverse place with many wholesome folks. The schools here are excellent and are tailored to help your kids succeed, all while promoting 4 year colleges by making them easily accessible. You couldn’t be safer if you lived here. People here are very ecologically friendly, with the promotion of tree-planting and healthy living. Traveling is easy with the metro line.

Rolling Hills Estates is yet another top suburb in the city of Los Angeles. This city, which is extremely kid friendly, has approximately 8,305 residents. From places to eat to stores and boutiques to shop at, you’ll find a little of everything in Rolling Hills Estates. The schools and diversity both get As. 

Last but not least on our list is San Marino. The residents of this city are generally well off, and the housing prices show it, being multi-million dollars on average. About 12,620 people live in San Marino, where the public schools get an A+. Just keep in mind that while there are great schools in the area, the amenities are lacking a bit. So, if you like to do things with your kids and stay busy, you’ll have to commute.

What are the best school districts in Los Angeles?

Here are some of the top school districts in L.A.: 

La Cañada Unified School District

This school district comes in at the top, being L.A.’s #1 school district. Nearly everything gets an A there, including academics, teachers, and college prep. There are 3,988 students in this school district between grades K-12. The reading proficiency is 89%, and the math proficiency is 85%. 

San Marino Unified School District

San Marino is the second-best school district in L.A. Like La Cañada, it scores an A on almost all counts. It also offers AP classes and gifted programs for students interested in challenging themselves. The reading proficiency level is 88%, and the math proficiency level is 87% at this school, which has 2,821 students between grades K-12. 

Arcadia Unified School District

Arcadia Unified School District is the third best in the City of Angels, with A-rated classes, teachers, administration, clubs, activities, and more. Roughly 8,946 kids go to school there between grades K-12. The math and reading proficiency levels are 75% and 77%.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

The student population is 10,503 between grades K-12 at Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, L.A.’s #4 school district. Virtually everything scores an A there, aside from clubs and activities, which still get a B+ (pretty good if you ask us). The math proficiency is 72%, and the reading proficiency is 76%.

Laguna Beach Unified School District

Coming in at the #5 spot for the best school districts in Los Angeles is Laguna Beach Unified School District. (It’s also Orange County’s top school district.) There are about 2,634 students there between grades K-12, with a 78% math proficiency and 83% reading proficiency. College prep, teachers, academics, and administration all get As. You can’t go wrong with that!

Good luck with your school search

Sure, there’s an abundance of schools in Los Angeles, but we believe your kids deserve the very best. We hope this guide helped give you a better idea of the best schools in Los Angeles and saved you some time. Remember: if you need local or long-distance movers in L.A., your friends at Bellhop are here for you. 

Book a move online today. It’s that simple!

Other Los Angeles Guides

Moving to Los Angeles, CA

The 5 Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

Your Guide to the Best Suburbs in Los Angeles

The Best Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

The 5 Best Neighborhoods for Families in Los Angeles

Tyler Brown
Latest posts by Tyler Brown (see all)